November 6, 2022

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

As we approach the season of Thanksgiving and the end of both the calendar and church years, would you consider making a gift to the Center for Faith and Giving so that we may continue to offer these worship resources in the coming year? We are grateful for your generosity!

Proper 27C

Haggai 1:15b-2:9 

Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17

Luke 20:27-38

Call to Worship  (inspired by Psalm 145)

Leader:  Bless the Lord!  Come!  Let’s praise the Giver of Life.
People:  We turn our hearts to worship the One who’s near.
Leader:  The Lord hears our cries.
People:  Our God is both just and kind.
Leader:  So let’s declare our praise:
People:  We rejoice, for the Lord, our God, is in this very place!

Opening Prayer  

Mighty God, as the seasons turn, we lift grateful hearts to you
     for your presence with us in every changing moment.  
As we gather, help us set aside all that distracts us.  
     Give us capacity to focus only on you.
     Allow us to experience deep-felt joy and steady confidence
     because you watch over all who love you.
Accept our praise and gratitude as we lift our voices to worship you!


Moment for Stewardship  (in response to II Thessalonians 2)

In II Thessalonians, the fairly new Christians are encouraged by this:

      “…stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us,
        either by word of mouth or by our letter.” 

That is, don’t get blown off course simply because someone comes along with charisma and charm, speaking a whole different message!

Many of us can catalog a whole set of situations where this might happen:
We switch news providers, and hear get a radically different interpretation.
We attend a different church and receive a vastly different teaching about how to behave, or dress, or what makes an acceptable offering.
We’re caught by an infomercial, and recognize their rejection of our current diet in favor of their particular “system” of pills, potions and products.

Stand firm!  Jesus taught his disciples, and the scriptures reinforce a gospel of caring for our neighbor, responding in love, and always seeking to follow the Word of Life (Jesus).

Today, your offering helps this congregation accomplish each of these.  
We _____________ (how do you care for your neighbor?)
We act out our love day-by-day (give 1 example).
We continue to learn and grow as disciples, aligning ourselves with Jesus
(lift up your Bible study, small group experiences, or discipleship program).

With gratitude for all we’ve been given, and holding fast to what we can accomplish when we stand firm, let us return a portion of our finances as we receive our morning offering.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We praise you, God, for the abundance you pour out, day by day.  Thank you especially for Jesus, the One we claim as “Christ”, whose words continue to guide us.

Please receive these gifts and help us put them to full use.  Teach us again to stand firm and hold to the traditions of Jesus’ followers, offering our very selves and these symbols of our lives, back to you.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

If you were asked to list ten short descriptions of yourself, would “follower of Jesus”, or “Christian” be on your list?  

In our church, we don’t have a test of faith each person must pass, week by week, before coming to the table.  But we do encourage folks to honestly consider how we are (or are not) aligned with “the traditions” which have been handed down to us.

Like this primary tradition, as we remember Jesus in the upper room with those who identified as some of his closest followers.

Remember James and John, “sons of thunder”, who argued to be “greatest”?
Peter, who tried to walk on the water to get to Jesus, and still began to sink.  
and Judas, who had already sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver!

Friends, let me encourage each of us to come to this table with gratitude, believing we are welcome here, even with our own failures.

In receiving these gifts of bread and juice, we hold fast to the tradition which has come to us through generations of followers.  

Come, for the feast is prepared and there is a place for each and for all.